Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

I’m in the middle of moving myself and kids across states so I don’t have much time to write this week. So I decided to share with you some of the songs that have impacted and inspired me throughout my journey and let music speak for me. If the past 16 months of my life had a soundtrack this is how it would go.

(ps. you’ll find my taste in music is pretty eclectic as I care more about words and the soul of the song as opposed to the style.)


1. The Lonely – Christina Perri

I can’t possibly imagine a song that could better describe the beginning of grief. The loneliness is intense. One of my first really vulnerable blogs touched on this topic. This song captures the feeling in a hauntingly beautiful way.

I’m a ghost of a girl
That I want to be most
I’m the shell of a girl
That I used to know well
Too afraid, to go inside
For the pain of one more loveless night
For the loneliness will stay with me
And hold me till I fall asleep
Broken pieces of
A barely breathing story
Where there once was love
Now there’s only me

2. Who Knew (Acoustic) – Pink

In the early months, the acoustic version of this song came on the radio and brought me to tears. It really hit me with the reality that everything I hoped 3 years prior had been destroyed. I was so confident. I was expecting great things. If someone told me that this is where my life would end up I would never have believed them.

I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I’d give anything
When someone said count your blessings now
For they’re long gone
I guess I just didn’t know howI’ll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
That last kiss
I’ll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew

3. Please Be My Strength – Gungor

Everything in my life was shattered, including my faith. I was angry at God for a long time. What whispers of prayers I could manage were broken pleas for strength.

I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again
like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short
please be my strength
please be my strength
Cuz I don’t have any more
I don’t have any more

4. Take Me To The King – Tamela Mann

Through this journey, I’ve been honest with God. Sometimes I was angry. I had a hard time trusting Him. But no matter how far I wanted to run, no matter how much pain I felt, I could not deny the goodness of God.

Take me to the king
I don’t have much to bring
My heart is torn in pieces
It’s my offering
Take me to the king
Truth is I’m tired
Options are few
I’m trying to pray
But where are you?
I’m all churched out
Hurt and abused
I can’t fake
What’s left to do?
Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch-will change-my life

5. Only Human – Christina Perri

I felt so much pressure to be a “Good Widow”, whatever that means. So many people told me how strong I was but I was crumbling inside. I did my best to appear that I was doing well, but for a long time, I was anything but ok.

I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that’s what you ask
Give you all I am

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down

I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that’s what you need

6. Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright

I could write an entire blog about this song. It was one that Jon performed. I had insisted that he add it to his set and it became a crowd favorite. I couldn’t listen to music at all for months, but this one, in particular, would tear me apart. When I finally listened to it again I found some of the lyrics were an echo of our story. I’m going to be incorporating a line of these lyrics in the memorial tattoo I will be getting.

The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Maybe I’ve been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Maybe there’s a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

7. I Miss My Friend – Darryl Worley

This one. I can’t even comment on it. I still miss my friend.

I miss my friend
The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again
And let the light back in

I miss your gentle voice in lonely times like now
Saying it’ll be alright

I miss those times
I miss those nights
I even miss our silly fights
The making up
The morning talks
And those late afternoon walks
I miss my friend

8. Hello – Adele

In this song, Adele is singing to her past self, but I hear it another way. When it first came out I remember commenting on how it sounds like it could also be someone singing to a loved one who died.  When I sing along, I’m singing  to Jon on the other side.

Hello, it’s me

Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I’ve forgotten how it felt
Before the world fell at our feet
There’s such a difference between us
And a million miles

Hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart

9. Inner Demons – Julia Brennan

Nights were very hard. My mind would race and race.. sometimes it still does. I had to actively fight the demons and choose to believe there was light even when all I could see is darkness.

They say don’t let them in
Close your eyes and clear your thoughts again
But when I’m all alone, they show up on their own
‘Cause inner demons fight their battles with fire
Inner demons don’t play by the rules
They say “Just push them down, just fight them harder
Why would you give up on it so soon?”
So angels, angels please just keep on fighting
Angels don’t give up on me today
‘Cause the demons they are there, they just keep biting
‘Cause inner demons just won’t go away
So angels please, hear my prayer
Life is pain, life’s not fair
So angels please, please stay here
Take the pain, take the fear

10. Beautiful Things – Gungor

I started singing the words to this song to try and make myself believe that my life could one day become something beautiful again. Eventually, ever so slowly, I began to see beauty once more.

(This is the second song on this list that came from Gungor’s “Beautiful Things” album and I could have probably saved myself time and just said his album is the sound track to my life.)

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

11. Held – Natalie Grant

A year before I lost Jon I was warned by God that something bad was going to happen. He promised that no matter what happened to me He would be there to hold my hand through it and He did.


Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held

12. Fight Song – Rachel Platten

Jon downloaded this song a month before he passed. He could never have known how much I needed these words, but I feel like this song is one of his gifts to me.

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

13. Alive – Sia

At some point, I decided to live. I would listen to this song and feel strength from the simple words so powerfully sang out. I may have been widowed but I survived. I’m still breathing. I am alive.

I was born in a thunderstorm
I grew up overnight
I played alone
I played on my own
I survived
I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived
I’m still breathing
I’m alive

15. How Far I’ll Go – Moana

As I began to wake up from the widow fog I began to feel a calling for something greater. I saw this movie in the theaters and this song, as well as a few other scenes, completely wrecked me. It stirred a desire in me to go. I didn’t know how it was going to happen and I had a hard time believing it would.. but I began to hunger for more than the life I was living.

Every turn I take, every trail I track
Every path I make, every road leads back
To the place I know where I cannot go
Where I long to be

See the line where the sky meets the sea?
It calls me
And no one knows
How far it goes

If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know
If I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go

16. Believer – Imagine Dragons

This song is the perfect song to represent my blog. Initially, I didn’t want anyone to read it. I kept it private and only allowed a few trusted people see it. Then one night I heard God clearly tell me to “let them see you bleed. Your healing will be their healing.” So it did. I let my heart bleed all over my keyboard. I kept it raw. I wrote from pain and pain has become my power.

First things first
I’ma say all the words inside my head
I’m fired up and tired of the way that things have been, oh-ooh
The way that things have been, oh-ooh
Second things second
Don’t you tell me what you think that I could be
I’m the one at the sail, I’m the master of my sea, oh-ooh
The master of my sea, oh-ooh

I was broken from a young age
Taking my sulking to the masses
Writing my poems for the few
That look to me, took to me, shook to me, feeling me
Singing from heartache from the pain
Taking my message from the veins
Speaking my lesson from the brain
Seeing the beauty through the… PAIN

17. Hold My Heart – Lindsey Stirling

I’ve only recently discovered this song and I love it. Being a widow has made some guys think that I’m an easy target. But I’m not one they can manipulate into their beds. I don’t need to be saved. I can stand on my own two feet.

(But at the same time… having my heart held is a wonderful feeling.)

Don’t need a hero to save me
I’m not a girl to set free
It’s nothing you did to me
I’ve always been this way
I might be strong, I might be weak
There might be a part of me that I won’t let you keep
Been on this road, and come this far
I don’t need a man to hold my hand
I just want one to hold my heart

18. Try Everything – Shakira

Sorry not sorry about another song from a cartoon. I’m a mom. I see more kids shows than anything else on tv. (Spoiler: there’s one more on this list lol.)

This song is how I feel about the future. My life is still incredibly difficult at times but I’ve decided not to give up. I don’t want to settle for a safe life. I’m starting somewhere new and I want to try everything.

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again
No I won’t leave
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail

19. Start of Something Good – Daughtry

Ok, so there may or may not have been something developing behind the scenes… but that’s a story for another day. I’m not admitting to anything… yet ❤

Everyone knows life has it’s ups and downs
One day you’re on top of the world
Then one day you’re the clown
Well, I’ve been both enough to know
That you don’t wanna get in the way when it’s working out
The way that it is right now
You see my heart, I wear it on my sleeve
‘Cause I just can’t hide it anymore

I know that it’s gonna take some time
I’ve got to admit that the thought has crossed my mind
That this might end up like it should
And I’m gonna say what I need to say
And hope to God that it don’t scare you away
I don’t want to be misunderstood
But I’m starting to believe that
This could be the start of something good 

20. When You Believe – Whitney Houston &  Mariah Carey

I’m going to conclude this list with a song that I feel sums up my entire journey of pain, fear, hope… and miracles.

Many nights we prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hope for a song
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid
Although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could, whoa, yes

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain

Hope seems like the summer bird
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here
My hearts so full, I can’t explain

Seeking faith and speakin words
I never thought I’d say
There can be miracles
When you believe (When you believe)

Though hope is frail
Its hard to kill (Mmm)
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve (You can achieve)

When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe

They don’t always happen when you ask
And it’s easy to give in to your fears
But when you’re blinded by your pain
Can’t see the way, get through the rain

A small but still, resilient voice
Says hope is very near, oh (Oh)
There can be miracles (Miracles)
When you believe (Boy, when you believe, yeah) (Though hope is frail)

Though hope is frail (Its hard)
Its hard to kill (Hard to kill, oh, yeah)
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve (You can achieve, oh)

When you believe somehow you will (Somehow, somehow, somehow)
Somehow you will (I know, I know, know)
You will when you believe (When you)
(Oh oh)

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.